It’s an all-star herb of Chinese medicine.
It’s the 2,000 year-old secret to invigorating and cleansing the blood. Healers have used ginseng as a treatment for ailments ranging from hypertension to halitosis. Some people swear by it. Others dismiss it as snake oil. But there’s solid research to back up the health benefits of ginseng.
Here are five great reasons to try ginseng.
1. Better Sex: Talk about a benefit you can get excited about… One study found that 60% of men who took a ginseng supplement for eight weeks were able to get stronger erections. Ginseng may help improve blood flow and fight oxidative stress in your body. These are two major factors in enhancing your sexual performance. And if diabetes is damaging your libido, ginseng may be able to help there too…
2. Control Blood Sugar: You know that antioxidants can help lower your blood sugar. It’s no wonder that ginseng can have the same effect. And if you already have type 2 diabetes, ginseng can help. American ginseng extract may improve glycemic control. It can also tame insulin levels.1 You don’t have to be diabetic to benefit from ginseng. Taking the extract before a meal may decrease your blood sugar response by at least 18%. People in the same study with type 2 diabetes lowered their response by about 20%.2
3. Immune Support: American ginseng extract helped seniors lower their risk for respiratory illnesses by 89%.3 Another study found that people taking the extract were 32% less likely to catch a cold. Panax ginseng is another immune supporter. You’ll find it in many Chinese herbal supplements. It may help speed up immune and inflammatory responses.4 This helps you get over illnesses quicker.
4. Anti-Cancer Abilities: Ginseng can have a potent anti-inflammatory effect. It’s full of powerful antioxidants. This is how it helps keep cancer at bay. Researchers in South Korea looked at over 4,600 people over the age of 40. People who took ginseng had a 60% lower chance of dying from cancer. And the more they took, the lower their risk was.5 But it doesn’t just help keep you from getting cancer. If you already do suffer from cancer, ginseng may help fight the inflammation that causes your fatigue.
5. Memory: Taking ginseng may improve more than your physical performance. It can also boost brain power. Studies show that it may promote mental clarity. One study found that taking ginseng extract improved abstract thinking in adults over 40 years old.6 But it may be most beneficial for seniors. Another study found that Panax ginseng improved memory and concentration in seniors after 50 days of treatment.7 It isn’t a miracle memory cure… But it isn’t snake oil. Recent studies confirm beneficial brain effects of this powerful herb on cognitive function—even quality of life—in people using it.8
If you want to give this ancient medicine a try, look for a quality supplement. A ginseng blend may be a good place to start. You’ll also be able to find tea online and in health food stores. If you’re lucky, you may even come across fresh ginseng root for brewing your own tea.